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European (The) Commission as Time-Setter in EU Eastern Enlargement Policy
Policy Paper by Young Researchers WP II / III Theories: Team 26 (D 141)
by Katja Lass-Lennecke / Annika Werner
February 2009

The European Commission was a key player in EU Eastern enlargement policy and ‘time’ became one of its crucial resources. This article proves this point by approaching new empirical insights: It shows firstly, that ‘time’ was a central aspect of Enlargement policy. Secondly, examining the Commission’s procedures it argues that policy time had a direct influence on institutional time. The temporal policy requirements were directly translated into the institution and thereby installed a tight internal ‘grid’ of temporal rules. This, thirdly, had a positive impact on effectiveness and efficiency in the Commission’s internal work process, among other advantages. Fourthly, the tight internal ‘grid’ still allowed innovations and initiatives by officials in the Commission. And finally, time became a strong resource of power, enabling the Commission’s Directorate General for Enlargement to become the time-setter intra-institutionally and empowering the Commission in its inter-institutional relations.



I. Why and how time matters in policies and institutions

II. The temporal structuring of EU eastern enlargement

III. The impact of the policy on the institution: Eastern enlargement policy driving institutional change in the EU Commission

  1. The influence of enlargement policy on the structure of the Commission: Inventing a matrix
  2. The impact of enlargement policy on the Commission’s procedures: Adapting the temporal setting and creating a temporal grid

IV. Intra- and inter-institutional consequences of the policy’s temporal grid

  1. Internal consequences: Between restriction and innovation
  2. Inter-institutional power relations: The power of the time-setter


Download ›/library/deliverables/D141_Team26.pdf